A luxury lochside retreat on Loch Long
Sitting in a hot tub on the shore of Long Long with a glass of wine while admiring the stunning views of the forest flowing down the mountainside almost into the loch, it was hard to believe we were little more than an hour’s drive from Glasgow. The former campsite on the Ardgartan promontory is now owned by Forest Holidays and in this fantastic location they have built 40 luxurious self-catering log cabins as well as a café and shop. Forest Holidays work in partnership with the Forestry Commission so there is a strong emphasis on creating eco-sensitive holidays.
The brilliantly designed log cabins are roomy, very bright and well-appointed with large TV (including a decent media package), decent sized kitchen table and fluffy dressing gowns! We stayed in the Golden Oak class of cabin which sleeps 8. The Silver Birch sleeps 4-6 in either 2 or 3 bedrooms. The Golden Oaks are positioned loch side around the perimeter of the promontory so although pricier, it’s most definitely worth paying the extra for the unimpeded views of the loch and surrounding hills. The hot tubs are a superb addition and must extend their season considerably as it’s very pleasant to sit outside even when cool, perhaps even in the snow!
On site there is a convenience store with local fresh produce and a pleasant café overlooking the children’s play area. The site with only one road in and out, is more or less enclosed so there were plenty of kids bombing around safely on their trikes and bikes. The café can deliver pizza to your cabin in the evenings and fresh rolls and croissants in the morning which is a nice touch.
On Site Activities
As you can imagine with a company working in partnership with the Forestry Commission there is very much an emphasis on enjoying the outdoors. Canoes and cycles can be rented on site and there is an extensive network of nearby trails to walk or bike, including some suitable for push chairs and the very young. (Dogs are allowed but not in all cabins, so check their website for details).
Our family particularly enjoyed the guided Forest Ranger walk which took place at twilight and was suitable for all ages. He pointed out otter signs, birds nests, insects and informed us of the proper names for all sorts of woodland flora.
Things To Do Nearby
Ardgartan is just 15 minutes from Tarbet and Loch Lomond so we enjoyed a misty boat trip up the loch (the ticket price includes a nip, which was nice!). Obviously the National Park is close by if you want to hike and the ‘Arrochar Alps’ include a Monroe or two. The traditional pub, the Village Inn at Arrochar is family friendly. The Loch Lomond Sea Life centre is less than 30 minute drive. Inverary on Loch Fyne is only about 30mins drive, with its famous gaol and is worth a visit. Helensburgh is about 30 mins away also. Go Ape Aberyfoyle isn’t too far but they only accept children over 10.
As a family, we absolutely loved it at Ardgartan and will definitely return. If you love walking, cycling and canoeing then this is really worth a visit. There’s plenty of other fun activities nearby to wear out the children and in the evenings, well, that hot tub is just so tempting, whatever the weather…
Reviewed by JW Patrick and family
Forest Holidays: www.forestholidays.co.uk/locations/scotland-holidays/argyll-holidays
Loch Lomond Cruises: www.cruiselochlomond.co.uk